The Big Question - Left and right defined the 20th century. What’s next?:
We will be governed by a kind of consensus populism-beliefs, ideas and policies that arise on blogs, websites, focus groups and so on. (Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton announced their candidacies on the web.) This has its appeal. It is also frightening, as Tocqueville found American democracy, because it leads to tyranny of the majority. It goes with vast quantities of not wholly accurate information—Wikipedia is splendid and maddening.
AS Byatt, novelist and critic
The coming cleavage is between zealots and realists. Zealots think the world will yield to their strenuous, righteous will. These include Islamists, utopian free traders, neoconservatives, purists of all stripes. Realists think that you work with the world you have, not the world you wish you had. Realists are often greyer, more lethargic. They look for non-zero-sum games, buildings constructed from crooked timbers. Zealots are, well, thrillingly zealous about their final solutions.
Todd Gitlin, sociologist
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